Some important dates to be aware of and some documents to become familiar with Re the Electoral Commission.
This Tuesday (the 21st) there will be a Parish Assembly at St Clements Parish Hall at 7.00pm that has been organised by some local constituents to discuss and debate Deputy Roy Le Hérissier's proposal which is due to be debated in the States at the beginning of March.
Also, on Wednesday the 29th at 7.30pm there will be a meeting at the Town Hall organised by the Jersey Rights Association where anyone will be allowed to speak and vote.
I had intended to organise a Parish Assembly in St Saviour, but, alas, being a part time UK resident got in the way and I wasn't able to do it.
It is really important to attend these meetings and show the media and States that there is a public appetite to keep the Commission independent. If the votes are won at these meetings, it will display an official stance taken by the Parishes and will pressure States Members not to be out of touch with their electorate.
The actual wording of Deputy Le Hérissiers proposal can be found here - http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2012/P.005-2012%20Amd.pdf
Two dissenting members of the PPC have written a minority report (much better reading than the Philip Dick book...) which has a few interestin revelations. This can be viewed here - http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2012/P.005-2012%20Add.pdf
The report contains a very comprehensive list of all the times the States has debated reform and all the times it has failed to achieve any. What could possibly be a better argument that the States just needs to be kept out of such decision making?
Until reading this report, I hadn't actually realised that Senator Bailhache had also proposed incredibly limiting the scope of review that the Commission would have and would prevent it from considering removing Constables from the States and that the new assembly must have an arbitrary number of 42 members.
The only reason Senator Bailhache is so determined to ban the Commission from considering the positions of the Constables, is because he is terrified they may come to the conclusion that the States may actually be better off without them. After all, if they were so undoubtedly good for Jerseys democracy, then surely the Commission would choose to keep them and he would have nothing to worry about. If he is so certain, then why does he need to fix the result?
The fact is, the Electoral Commission has to have ALL options on the table. The more limitations they have on their scope, the worse the end result will be.
What Senator Bailhache needs to just get over is that some people don't want the Constables to be in the States, and they are perfectly entitled to express that view in submissions to the Commission. Trying to ban such discussion is just dictatorial. Lets have an open Commission where all possibilities are considered so that we can come up with the best overall result.
But anyway... keep on sending my previous template email to your States Members, and if you can, attend the meetings! The battle is to be fought soon, and so the preliminary work needs to take a step up.
P.S. Here is an interesting interview with Deputy Tadier from the Tom Gruchy blog. Well worth watching - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LbeRFW3foLU